Below, if transcribed correctly,[i] are the Articles of Faith of the Southern Baptist Association, a fellowship of Free Baptists in the South formed in 1876. It can only be assumed that these may have been the articles as adopted in 1876. These articles, in almost exactly the same form, were adopted by the Jasper Free-Will Baptist Association when they organized in 1887.[ii] The Articles of Faith of the Young’s Chapel Freewill Baptist Church of Burnsville, North Carolina, appear to be based on the Articles of Faith of the Southern Baptist Association.
These articles were transcribed as printed in The Baptist Review (Goldsboro, NC) January 30, 1905, Vol. XXIX, No. 76 (B. W. Nash, editor)[iii] – housed in the archives of Moye Library at the University of Mount Olive, Mount Olive, North Carolina.[iv]
Articles of Faith of the Southern Baptist Association
Of God.—Article 1. We believe that there is one, and but one living and true God, Who is in personality the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Equal and harmonious in every divine perfection.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.—1 Timothy 2 Chapter.
Of the Holy Scriptures.—Article 2. We believe that God is the author of the Holy Bible, and that its teachings constitute the only infallible doctrine for the government of His Church.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.—2 Tim. 3c., 16v.
Of Original Apostasy.—Art. 3. We believe that Adam was created holy, but by voluntary transgression fell into depravity, and consequently, involved his posterity in sin.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.—Gen. 3c., 6v.
Of Free Grace.—Art. 4. We believe that the grace of God comprehends all spiritual blessings. That the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. That the Holy Spirit, not only reproves the world of sin, but is the means whereby sinners are converted and made wise unto salvation.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.—Rom. 10c., 12v.
Of Christian Faith.—Art. 5. We believe that Christian Faith is belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Redeemer of the world; and in the divinity of the Holy Scriptures. That “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.—John 3c., 36v.
Of Repentance.—Art. 6. We believe that repentance is sorrow for sin, and the kind of sorrow that constitutes godly repentance must be preceded by effectual conviction of sin.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.—2 Cor. 7c., 9 and 10 verses.
Of Free Agency.—Art. 7. We believe that the human will is free, and that men have the ability to accept or reject the conditions of salvation as they are revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?—Micah 6c., 8v.
Of Perseverance.—Art 8. We do not believe under the gospel dispensation, that any soul is elected to eternal life unconditionally, but that those who by faith persevere to the end will be saved. That it is possible for men who have been converted to make shipwreck of the faith, turn again to sin and be finally lost.
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.—Luke 9c. 62v.
Of Good Works.—Art. 9. We believe that good work is the result of faith, and not of necessity. That those who have faith will do works of righteousness; while those who have no faith, cannot do anything pleasing or acceptable to God.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.—Matt. 7c., 19 and 20 verses.
Of Christian Baptism.—Art. 10. We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the names of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That baptism cannot be scripturally administered without faith in the subject who receives it.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.—Rom. 6c. 4v.
Of the Lord’s Supper.—Art. 11. We believe the Supper was instituted by our Saviour as a commemorative ordinance. That the bread and wine represent His body and blood. That it was instituted for Christians, and that all Christians should unite in performing this sacred service, regardless of names of denominational distinction.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.—1 Cor., 11c., 28 and 29 verses.
Of the Soul.—Art. 12. We believe that man is a living soul. That the body will die, but that the soul is immortal. That death is the separation of the mortal and the immortal parts.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.—Gen., 2c. 7 verse.
Of the Resurrection.—Art. 13. We believe in the resurrection of the dead. When the resurrection shall take place the soul and body will reunite and form an immortal being. That the righteous will be received into a state of everlasting happiness, to reign with God forever and ever: But the wicked shall be bound hand and foot, and be cast into outer darkness.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.— [John 5c. 28 and 29 verses.]
[i] The type of several of the first articles was especially difficult to read.
[ii] This is in northeast Alabama.
[iii] Page 3, though no number is visible on the page (Thanks, to Bro. Picirilli for this correction, rlv).
[iv] Thanks to Robert Picirilli and Gary Barefoot I obtained a scan of the paper.